the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Orlando Wetlands Park

Orlando Wetlands Park

Clouds over Orlando Wetlands Park

Last weekend Tanya presented a seminar at a chaplains’ conference in Orlando, Florida. So we made a quick flight down (well not so quick, it basically takes a full day to fly from Seattle to Orlando). Though we stayed at the Hilton at Disney World, I had no desire to visit any theme parks. Instead, Tanya and I drove out to the Orlando Wetlands Park.

The Orlando Wetlands Park was of particular interest to me because of my day job. The wetlands there are man-made using reclaimed water (that is, water from a waste-water treatment plant). Photographically, it’s a great location as well.

The place is amazing and well worth a visit. First, compared to the artificial environment of Disney World, filled with people and mouse ears, the Orlando Wetlands Park is a natural refuge. In the two hours we were there, we only saw one other person, but we saw plenty of wildlife – in particular birds and alligators, but also deer and a raccoon. Secondly, it is easily accessible, with wide trails on berms above the wetlands, making viewing the wildlife easy. We also lucked out in that the rain and thunderstorms rolling through the area left us alone while there.

If you are ever in the Orlando area and want to get away from the crowds, I recommend Orlando Wetlands Park. It’s free and open daily from dawn to dusk.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Gator Warning

Caution – gators are about!


Sure enough, down Alligator Alley, we found this fellow. (Actually, there were gators all over, not just in Alligator Alley).


A limpkin (also called carrao, courlan, and crying bird).

12 responses

  1. So happy that you found the best part of Florida. I too photograph the wetlands. From season to season, the wetlands change…so come again. Nancy at

    July 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    • I’d like to come again. Tanya didn’t get out of the hotel after the first day, so I need to take her back to see more.Besides there’s a lot more I’d like to see.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

  2. All the times I’ve been to Orlando I never knew about this place. Thanks for posting, I’ll be heading that way in a few months.

    July 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    • Though named “Orlando” and also run by the city, it actually isn’t that close to the city. It’s located about a 40 to 50 minute drive east of Orlando near the town of Christmas. Easy to get to if you have a car.

      July 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

  3. The gator shot is awesome.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:06 am

  4. I enjoyed your pictures. I live in Florida and thus related to your pictures. The alligator picture is spot on. Good angles. Next time you go to Orlando visit Gatorland and take some pics. An interesting place, old as the hills of Florida and filled to the brim with alligators, some crocs and birds of all sorts. They even have a zip line that goes over the gators. Another gem on the off beaten track is Fantasy of Flight which has quite a lot of old vintage planes. It is a unique place. Next time you are down here look me up.

    July 6, 2013 at 5:42 am

    • Thanks Barry. Someone recommended Gatorland to me before I went, but when I looked at their website, it looked too much like a theme park for what I was looking for. If I had been in town a few more days, I probably would have gone anyway. Maybe next time. Fantasy of Flight also sounds interesting, another place to visit when next in the area. However, that will probably be quite a while, since I have no specific plans to go to Florida anytime soon. If I do get down there, I’ll give you a call.

      July 6, 2013 at 10:05 am

      • To bad about Gatorland. It is not the plastic theme park but real animals with real movements. If you get chance look up Serpenintarium. This is no longer around but was one of the most interesting places I have ever been to. The owner milked snakes right in front of you. But even more amazing was Sunday where he would force feed and milk a twenty two foot King Cobra on the grass approximately twenty feet away from the audience. His name is William Haast and he was an amazing man. Look him up on the internet if you wish.

        July 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

  5. nice photos!!

    July 7, 2013 at 7:48 am

  6. Reblogged this on budijaya123's Blog and commented:
    Bagua is your goood

    July 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

  7. Such a beautiful place! You captured it beautifully!

    August 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

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